Scheme benefits

Time off and leaving work

Some life changes, like having or adopting children or suffering from ill health, can impact your working patterns and result in taking significant periods of time off work. It’s important to know how this time away from work could affect your pension and how you pay into it.

Types of leave

If you’re on maternity, paternity, parental or discretionary leave, or adoption leave, you may not have to pay into the Scheme. If you do pay in, your contributions will be based on the pay you’re actually receiving.

The exact terms of your leave may depend on which section of the Scheme you’re in. Check your member guide for more about paying contributions and pensionable service during your leave.

If you become too ill to work

If you become seriously ill while you’re paying into the Scheme, you may be able to retire on grounds of ill health and receive an ill-health retirement pension. You may be able to do this even if you haven’t yet reached the earliest age for taking benefits from the Scheme.

The Trustees and Santander UK plc will need to agree you can take ill-health early retirement and you’ll need to provide medical evidence to support your request.

From time to time the Trustees will ask for medical evidence that you are still too ill to work. If the Trustees consider your health has recovered sufficiently and you are able to return to work, they may reduce or suspend your ill-health pension.

In exceptional cases of ill health, it may be possible to pay you a lump sum in place of an ill-health retirement pension.

Leaving your employer

If you leave your employer while you’re a member of the Scheme, you’ll stop paying in and building up benefits.

Your pension will become deferred, and you will be referred to as a ‘deferred member’. Your pension will increase each year, to help it keep pace with inflation.

This applies whether you leave voluntarily or are made redundant.

Even if you rejoin Santander in the future, you won’t be able to rejoin the Scheme. Instead, you’ll join LifeSight to build up pension benefits. If you’re a current Santander employee, you can find out more about LifeSight on One HR under the Rewarding you section.